We are currently participating in daily challenges and have completed the first week (they began on Wednesday, March 9th, and will continue through April 24th). You'll find additional information by clicking HERE (information is located towards the bottom).
It's been an interesting week with a variety of activities. Some were thought-provoking, some easy to accomplish and still others weren't really for everyone. More important than the exercises themselves, in my opinion, were the discussions that they generated. I learned so much from all of you. For example, one person shared his thoughts on what the future holds, and I found it strangely hopeful. From another person I learned that transformers in light fixtures can draw energy even if a light bulb is turned off, burnt out or missing. Another person shared that the color of our walls can contribute to our energy use.
Let's do a recap of the week:
Day 1 asked us to consider the big picture and discuss how our actions today affect future generations.
- Mrs. Green wrote this POST. She'll be monitoring her energy use and discovering exactly how small changes affect overall consumption.
- EcoGrrl talks about plastic and it's affect on the earth is this ARTICLE.
- Kelly L's 9th grade daughter wrote a 1000 word essay on the subject. I'm hoping that Kelly and her daughter will agree to share the paper with us.
- Kris accepts the challenge and plans to write about it.
- Cinella wrote this POST about our challenge and gave us an update on her disposal non-use.
- Argentum Vulgaris gave us a very thoughtful (and thought provoking) discussion HERE. It might surprise you!
- Nicole B. gave our challenges a lovely write-up HERE. In that post she says, I always leave the Reduce Footprints blog thinking, “I can do this!”. Wow, that makes my "green" heart so happy! Thank you, Nicole!
- The Shopping Charity Daily gave our challenges a mention in this EDITION.
- ...M... stopped in and offered her support.
- Mrs. Green discovered that there was a phantom, drawing energy, even when the light was burnt out. And, the energy being drawn was more than the light (when working) used. Read about this amazing discovery HERE.
- Cosmic forces are working in Argentum Vulgaris' home ... his kitchen light blew out on Saturday. So, he'll leave it be for awhile.
- Cinella already had two lights twisted off (one in the hallway and one in the laundry room) and decided, for fun, to twist off another ... in her closet.
- Rewinn discovered something interesting ... here's a hint: paint. Hm ... curious? Find out about this tricky idea HERE.
- Ann says that her family has already done this. In fact, her husband removed the bath room light bulbs so that people don't spend too much time looking at the mirror.
- Monica found us through the Think Green Hop Along (which you'll find in my side bar). She has a great blog, with a lot of green tips, which you'll find HERE.
- Argentum Vulgaris has no vampire appliances. There, there, AV ... don't feel bad ... it's actually a very good thing. And yes, sir ... that counts as participating. :-)
- Mrs. Green is waving "bye bye" to standby in this POST.
- Rewinn "unplugs" a number of gadgets all at once using an item he finds, used, for about a dollar. Find out what he does HERE.
- Stacy is a new follower and says she's definitely taking this challenge ... especially when it comes to the phone charger which she tends to forget. Yay, Stacy ... that one simple change will save a lot!
- EcoGrrl had an audit done of her home when she first moved in. In addition to learning about areas which could be improved, she learned about the rebates that she could get for each energy saving measure. In her area, she is allowed one free audit ... after that, she'll have to pay for them. And, the audit company doesn't hang on to the home's score so ... if you have an audit done, be sure to keep the paperwork for future reference. Hey EcoGrrl ... did you read Cinella's suggestion HERE?
- Argentum Vulgaris couldn't take this challenge ... he says that, in Brazil, the term "energy audit" doesn't exist. AV and Rewinn have had a nice dialogue going about energy audits in Brazil. You can read the thread HERE.
- In this POST, Mrs. Green says that she is a "woman of self empowerment" (I love that). She doesn't need a utility company to tell her what she already knows and has taken it upon herself to discover where improvements could be made ... and how much energy she'll save in making them. In her article she mentions Sherry’s ‘light rule’ ... another simple idea with a huge impact.
- For Rewinn, an "energy audit" came in the form of less-than-efficient appliances breaking down soon after moving into his home. He talks about that HERE. Hey Rewinn, AV responded to your suggestion HERE.
- Cinella is going to look into energy monitors this week. Hopefully, she'll come back and let us know what she found out.
- Ann brought a lot of insight to this challenge. She says, "We can still consume, but we can waste less, and recycle more. I know (growing up in a third world), it is a big ask for the rich country to cut their consumption, but if they waste less, it is a big step forward. May I quote two examples: 1) In Singapore, it is hot as it is in the tropics. In the modern buildings, they keep the temperature a freezing 22 degrees, and people have to wear cardigans. What a waste. 2) In freezing countries, they keep the central heating so high, that people wear shorts and thin tee shirts."
- In this POST, Rewinn gives us a realistic appraisal of what we have to do. He says it's not about guilt, it's about doing the right thing.
- Ann gives us her take for the week: share what you cannot consume (it's what her students did).
- Argentum Vulgaris takes a very direct, simple approach to this challenge. He rarely cooks more than he can eat. On those few occasions when he does have a bit more than he can consume, he has a live-in garbage disposal called "da Meow".
- Mrs. Green offers us several methods to eliminate food waste in this POST. She says that the typical person in the UK wastes one third of their food and describes it as buying 6 bags of groceries and promptly tossing 2 bags into the garbage bin. Wow!
- After Jennifer cleans out her refrigerator, she's going to try labeling leftover food containers to help her use up items before they go bad. Great idea!
- Annalene ensures that she doesn't waste food by buying smaller amounts, in minimal packaging ... things like fruits and veggies.
- Brian has outlawed food waste in his house. He buys in bulk and then freezes meal size portions for ready use. When cooking, he and his wife prepare only enough for one meal and perhaps enough for lunch the next day.
- Rewinn loves leftovers but, in this POST, admits that they get lost in the refrigerator. Anyone have ideas for him on how to use the leftovers rather than forget about them?
- EcoGrrl says that she and her dog are efficient eaters. What EcoGrrl doesn't eat, her dog eats ... and what's left when they are both done, which is very little, gets composted.
- Cinella tries not to throw away food. She and her family usually eat them the next day. By the way, in this POST, guess which blog got a nice mention? Oh no, I'm not saying ... but ... thanks, Cinella! :-)
- I was busy tweeting your articles and one of them got picked up on the On Fire For Handmade Daily. Whose article do you think it was?
- EcoGrrl realized how far she's come in eliminating plastic bag use when she noticed how many plastic bags (and other plastic waste) her new tenant generates. Hopefully EcoGrrl's fine example will get her tenant on board.
- My friend, İlhami Uyar, offered his support in eliminating plastic bags. As a beekeeper, he knows just how important the environment is to the balance of life. By the way, if you are interested in bees or beekeeping, check out his blog. İlhami offers a lot of wonderful information and he's always willing to help anyone wishing to raise bees.
- In this POST, Rewinn will be making a "spiritual" trip this Sunday to ... well ... you'll have to read the post to find out. And check out the video ... just a little scary (in a fun way).
- Frenchy joined us and appreciated the reminder. Thanks, Frenchy!
- Ellie dropped in ... hope to see you again, Ellie!
- Ann offers us this POST which highlights a beautiful alternative to plastic bags.
Wow ... this first week of our daily challenges was amazing! Thanks to everyone who participated. As always, if you wrote an article, I tweeted, stumbled and facebooked it.
Many of the themes, last week, centered around energy use ... so, I thought I'd leave you with one last thought ... well, actually, one last picture:
Data Source: Latest Energy Surveys, IEA, DOD. Updated monthly or when new figures are released.
Okay ... let's get started with our next daily challenge:
Save energy in the kitchen. Cook food in a microwave, which uses 50-70% less energy than a conventional oven. When you need to cook in a pan on the stove, use a lid to preserve heat, which will also cook your food faster. Cook double portions and freeze what you don't eat.
See you tomorrow ...
WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME!